They’re everywhere: tiny cameras, webcams, security cameras… video-capturing devices are almost as ubiquitous as the banner ads for them: “Watch anyone, anytime.” We’re all stuck somewhere between reality TV and a TV reality. Following the panopticon from an eighteenth century architectural drawing by Jeremy Bentham to the pervasive surveillance of the twenty-first century, CTRL [SPACE] is a comprehensive history of watching and being watched.
This massive tome includes writings by such luminaries as Steve Mann (“Reflectionism” and “Diffusionism”: New Tactics for Deconstructing the Video Surveillance Superhighway), McKenzie Wark (To the Vector the Spoils), Lev Manovich (Modern Surveillance Machines: Perspective, Radar, 3-D Computer Graphics, and Computer Vision) and Timothy Druckrey (Secret Agents, Security Leaks Immune Systems, Spore Wars…), as well as philosophers like Michel Foucault (The Eye of Power: A Conversation with Jean-Pierre Barou and Michelle Perrot), Paul Virilio (The Visual Crash), Jean Baudrillard (Telemorphosis), and Gilles Deleuze (Postscript on Control Societies). CTRL [SPACE] also includes full-color photographs of the work of many artists preoccupied by the spread of the panopticon: Sophie Calle, Diller + Scofidio, Dan Graham, Pierre Huyghe, Michael Klier, Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Thomas Ruff, Julia Scher, Andy Warhol and Peter Weibel, among others.
CTRL [SPACE] represents the first state-of-the-art survey of panopticism–in digital culture, architecture, television, video, cinema, painting, photography, conceptual art, installation work, robotics and satellite imaging. It is truly a required text for those watching and those being watched.
I marshal the middle between Mathers and McLuhan.